A total of 36 legislators have announced, as of December 1, that they will not seek re-election in the 2024 elections. Thus, 29 seats in the House of Representatives and another 7 in the Senate will surely have a new occupant. In both cases, the majority of the cases involve withdrawals from political positions (14 representatives and 6 senators). The rest will compete for a seat in the other chamber, for the position of Governor in their state or even for the federal Presidency. By party, Democrats are the ones who drop out the most (20 in the House and 5 in the Senate).
November has been an especially intense month in the announcement of resignations to retain the seat. According to Ballotpedia, up to eight representatives and two senators have announced their goodbyes this month. The carousel of departures began on the same day, when conservative representatives Ken Buck and Kay Granger made public their decision to depart the Capitol.
Rollover in the cameras?
Speaking to Just The News, presidential analyst Kyle Kondik, editor-in-chief of Sabato's Crystal Ball, pointed out that the majority of the seats that remain free will not represent a radical change since voters are loyal to one party in these constituencies. However, the number of seats that could change sides could mean a change in the primacy of the chambers:
That said, Democrats have more competitive open seats to defend — they have four we rate as Toss-ups (CA-47, MI-7, MI-8) or Lean Democratic (VA-7), while Republicans are just defending one (NY-3, where there will be a Toss-up special election following the expulsion of George Santos). Incumbency is not as electorally valuable as it used to be but Democrats do have a bit more of a burden in defending open seats, at least for now. Surely there will be more retirements to come.
Retirements or fight for new positions
In addition to the 25 legislators resigning from public office,11 representatives (nine Democrats and two from the GOP) announced their candidacy to try to attain a seat in the Senate in the next legislature; a senator (the Republican Mike Braun for Indiana) and a representative (the Democrat Abigail Spanberger, for Virginia) will fight to be the next governors of their respective states.
Apart from the Democrat Dean Phillips, who will try to convince his party that he is a better asset than Joe Biden as a candidate for the White House, two North Carolina representatives (Republican Rep. Dan Bishop and Democratic Rep. Jeff Jackson) will compete for the post of Attorney General in their home state.
Boredom, tiredness, family... the reasons
Among the reasons given by those who have taken a step back is boredom with current politics, or the desire to spend more time with their family. In the case of one Republican lawmaker who did not want to give his name to Axios, even the main reason was "I'm tired."